James Hanley (1897–1985) was born in Liverpool, England, to an Irish Catholic family. He spent time in the merchant navy and served with the Canadian Infantry during World War I. From 1930 to 1981 Hanley published forty-eight books, including the novels Boy, The Furys, The Ocean, Another World, and Hollow Sea. He penned plays for radio, television, and theater and published a work of nonfiction, Grey Children, on the plight of coal miners. Hanley died in London but was buried in Wales, the setting for many of his works.